There is so much online content being put out at the moment that we thought we would provide our top 7 tips to host a successful event to ensure that your next webinar stands out from the crowd.
1. Webinar objectives
Define your webinar objectives! Don’t just take something that should be offline and put it online. Channels of lead generation in 2021 are naturally going to be digital. At Accelerate we specialise in B2B marketing and we anticipate that website, digital events and email campaigns will be key lead generating activities throughout 2021.
There is no shame in your webinar objective to simply be to generate content for your other digital marketing efforts such as blog articles, Q&A content etc. Similarly, don’t be too concerned about setting target “attendee numbers” as one of your webinar objectives – it is about what you can do with the content. Can you write blogs? Can you recycle audience questions and concerns into smaller articles or social media posts?
2. Message and tone
Think about how you need to change your message and tone of message. Remember that the preoccupations of your audience may have changed significantly, whether from severe business changes (positive or negative) to personal issues such as home-schooling or bereavement. Everyone is experiencing the pandemic in their own way and, as a result, you need to be mindful of your approach and tone.
3. Webinar timing
Because of the pandemic, it may well be a case of out with the old rules. For instance, even timing of online events is up for debate in 2021. As people work from home, routines are changing.
Be mindful of time. People are spending a lot of time on screen calls. 60mins with only 1 or 2 people presenting is too long.
4. Webinar content
Boring webinars tend to be focussed entirely on lead generation and are not inherently useful for the attendee, therefore you need to think about delivering value to your audience.
Avoid using huge slide decks and design your presentation for the small screen to host a successful webinar! No-one will engage with illegible font sizes. We also recommend that your webinar content needs to be a mixture of face-to-face, live demonstration (if applicable) and presentation.
That said, there is nothing wrong with pre-recording some of your content. This can enable you to refine your message and may be particularly useful if demonstrating a product or service where technology may let you down!
5. Audience interaction
One of our most important tips to host a successful event – interaction!
Most audiences would like to be able to interact with your event speakers in order to ask the occasional question or seek clarification on a point of discussion. If your webinar truly fills a gap in terms of knowledge, your audience will definitely have questions.
Depending on the webinar platform you use, allow delegates to be viewed when asking a question. This will improve the dynamic of the webinar and make the experience richer for all participants.
Similarly, if you run a poll during your webinar, act on or react to the results! Don’t use it as a gimmick or ignore your audiences’ participation.
Personalise your webinar invitation. Digital fatigue is setting in so think carefully about delivering a webinar for a very specific audience. To host a successful webinar, it is better to have a small but well-qualified audience where interaction will be simpler to encourage. By personalising invitations, your audience will feel valued and selected for their relevant knowledge or expertise rather than just being a recipient of another mass mailing.
Another tactic may be to offer access to a white paper or other useful resource if the webinar is attended.
7. Post-webinar marketing
Don’t forget to promote your webinar after the event – this could be achieved by sharing a recording or by writing an article or white paper based on the webinar.
Final thoughts – B2B marketing in 2021
We don’t know how long the pandemic will continue. By following our 7 tips to host a successful webinar we hope that your digital event will be a success! However, as B2B marketing specialists our advice is to remember the entire marketing mix – don’t just focus on webinars. Add in product demonstrations, lead generation activities, content and networking. Perhaps, mostly importantly, revisit your website. In the B2B space, whilst face to face interaction is not possible, you website is your shop window.
Philippa Bevan has over 25 years commercial and public sector experience in marketing, market research and product management spanning the education, laboratory, medical device, technology transfer and packaging industries. Philippa has a BSc (Hons) in Microbiology and Virology and is a Chartered Marketer.